Mother Nature’s Indifference

Friends: Me with Sue and Phyllis

Friends: Me with Sue and Phyllis

We have another guest blogger this week: Sue is an important member of the Jaspa’s Journey team and is often mentioned in my blogs (which isn’t surprising, given the fact she’s Rich’s wife and so we always travel together). But Sue also plays a crucial behind-the-scenes role in developing the stories and editing the books. In fact, Jaspa’s Journey wouldn’t even exist without her! So, take it away Sue…



Our most recent trip showed us new wonders of this huge and diverse planet we call home. Mother Nature provides us with so many different things to see and experience. Enough to keep us entertained for our whole lives, if we choose to take advantage.

What has also become apparent, and this is something we must never forget, is that Mother Nature is very powerful. She can be cruel and unforgiving. She doesn’t tolerate stupidity or carelessness. She doesn’t discriminate when choosing her victims. Weak or strong, old or young. And so, when on our adventures, we must be smart and vigilant, careful and prepared.

Sue at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Sue at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Margaret Bradley competing in the 2004 Boston Marathon (Cape Cod Times)

Margaret Bradley competing in the 2004 Boston Marathon (Cape Cod Times)

When approaching the Bright Angel trailhead at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, there is a signboard telling the story of a 24-year-old woman, Margaret Bradley, who completed (and placed well in) the 2004 Boston Marathon. Despite being at the pinnacle of physical fitness, Margaret perished in the Grand Canyon that same year. She set off on a 27 mile hike armed with only 1.5 litres of water, two energy bars and an apple. This was nowhere near enough provisions for such a long, strenuous hike in the blazing sunshine, where temperatures reached 41ºC (105ºF).

We noticed other visitors reading Margaret’s story, and overheard them surmising, “No matter how fit you think you are… you’re not.”

But I think they miss the point. The real message is this: No matter how strong you are, Mother Nature is stronger.

We experienced our own challenge three days after our visit to the Grand Canyon, on the morning we left Brian Head, Utah. The weather was horrific… a snowstorm we would never have considered going out in at home. And in southern Ontario, the roads are fairly straight and flat, not winding down a mountain with perilous drops on either side. But if we hadn’t ventured out in the storm early that Friday morning, we would surely have been stuck in Brian Head until the following Monday.

Coming down the mountain: Brian Head, Utah

Coming down the mountain: Brian Head, Utah

What to do? Common sense told us to stay put. Determination and experience told us, we can do this, let’s give it a (cautious) go.

Thankfully, we won this battle. We made it safely down the mountain by going slowly and carefully, all the while holding tight to a healthy respect for Mother Nature, which helps us make good decisions and keeps us safe.


We originally planned to call this blog something dramatic, like Mother Nature’s Fury. However, we eventually decided that, like the people reading Margaret Bradley’s sad story at the Grand Canyon, this was missing the point. Despite everything she is capable of, Mother Nature never experiences fury. Nor does she feel anger, or meanness, or sadness, or pain, or happiness, or compassion, or playfulness… or any other emotion, for that matter. Although we often refer to ‘her’ as a person, what makes Mother Nature so dangerous is that she doesn’t feel anything. She just is! So we have to be prepared for all her indifference.


About Jaspa

Jaspa's Journey is a series of award-winning, travel-based adventure novels for strong middle grade readers by Rich Meyrick. Join the Adventure! Read the books! Follow Jaspa’s ongoing Journeys at Let's explore this amazing world together! And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Environment, Jaspa's Journey, Travel, USA and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

I'd love to hear what you've got to say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.